Microsoft Halts SQL Server 2014 SP1 Downloads

A bug surfaces soon after the release of SQL Server 2014's first service pack, forcing Microsoft to temporarily disable downloads of the update.

Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft's attempt at squashing SQL Server 2014 bugs ran into a bug of its own.

The company released SQL Server Service Pack 1 (SP1) on the April 15 anniversary of the database software's launch. Today, Microsoft is hitting the pause button after a discovering an issue.

"The SQL SSIS team has found an issue with SP1 installation if SSIS catalog is present in the SQL Server instance," alerted the company in a blog post authored by Rong Wu, a senior manager in Microsoft's SQL Server Servicing Experience Team. "They are currently investigating this issue including possible workarounds and fixes. We have temporarily put the package download on hold and will provide an update with a solution."

Currently, clicking on the Microsoft SQL Server 2014 SP1 download links generates a Website error page. When the links are restored, customers can expect to see many of their issues addressed and squeeze more performance out of their SQL Server implementations.

SP1 includes several updates, according to this advisory from Microsoft's SQL Server Team:

  • Column store performance is improved when batch mode operators spill over to disk. A new XEvent provides insights into column store inserts.
  • Several issues in buffer pool extension SSD configuration are addressed, including the ability to do instant initialization of the buffer pool extension file.
  • Certain queries compile faster when using new cardinality estimator, and other cardinality estimation query plans are more efficient when using TF-4199.
  • The scalability benefits of two trace flags (TF-1236 and TF-9024) are applied automatically.
  • Backup header information retrieval works better with encrypted backups.

A more comprehensive list of fixes is available in this knowledgebase article that details the improvements made to SQL Server 2014 in SP1.

Noting the growth of big data analytics and cloud workloads, Microsoft focused on improving performance in its latest release of its cloud-enabled database. SQL Server 2014 is 13 times faster than SQL Server 2005, which faces a support cutoff in April 2016.

And according to the Redmond, Wash.-based IT giant, some customers are already capitalizing on the upgraded database technology.

"Samsung improved OLTP [online transaction processing] performance up to 24 times and DW [data warehouse] up to 22 times when they upgraded to SQL Server 2014," boasted Microsoft in a statement. "SBI Liquidity Market sped up their transaction performance by tenfold when they adopted SQL Server 2014 in-memory OLTP."

SQL Server 2014 and its cloud-based counterpart Azure SQL feature prominently in Microsoft's efforts to help customers transition from its aging and soon-to-be-retired predecessor, SQL Server 2005. In a recent interview with eWEEK, Tiffany Wissner, senior director of data platform marketing for Microsoft, said that aside from publishing guidance, rolling out migration tools and working with the professional SQL Server user community, the software maker is currently enlisting its "partner ecosystem and ISVs to make it easier for their customers to work with SQL Server 2014."

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...